How to Factor Fuel Costs When Deciding to Purchase a Vehicle PDF Print E-mail

The drastic rise in fuel prices makes it more important to do your homework before purchasing a new vehicle.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, a vehicle that gets 30 miles per gallon (mpg) will cost you $750 less to fuel each year than one that gets 20 mpg (assuming 15,000 miles of annual driving and an average fuel cost of $3.00). Over a five-year period, the 30 mpg vehicle will save you $3,750.

Of course there are alternate fuel and hybrid vehicles available now—so how do you know if one is right for you? You’ll need to factor in these things when deciding to purchase one of these vehicles versus a regular gasoline or diesel vehicle:

Purchase price. You’ll find that the alternate fuel and hybrid vehicles do cost more than the regular fuel models offered by manufacturers.

Fuel costs. Determine what your yearly mileage will be and estimate your fuel costs based on the manufacturer’s average MPG rating.

Repair and maintenance costs. When purchasing an alternate fuel or electric vehicle, find out the common maintenance repairs that are outside the manufacturer’s warranty period.

Expected lifetime cost of vehicle.
Talk to the manufacturer/dealer of the vehicle you’re looking at to determine what costs you are facing in the long-term when purchasing a hybrid or alternate fuel vehicle.

Overall, doing the research before purchasing a new vehicle is a must based on fuel prices these days. To compare vehicles based on fuel economy click here.

-Adapted from



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